Much has been written on the partnership between the Stellar Development Foundation and technology behemoth IBM. Ever since taking the crypto world by surprise in October 2017 with their shock partnership announcement, both parties have been hard at work to realise their shared vision and goal of an interconnected, fairer global society.
In an exclusive interview with Crypto Finder, Jesse Lund (Head of Blockchain Solutions @ IBM) revealed that both the SDF and IBM will be sharing center stage at Money 20/20 Asia – slated to be ‘Launching a universal payments network to benefit humanity’.
With the exciting details revealed in the video, Lund alluded to not only the inner workings of World Wire – IBM’s flagship blockchain settlement network (built using Stellar’s public network) – but also to an exclusive announcement which will be made at the Money 20/20 Asia conference.
‘We’ve got a launch announcement coming out soon … let’s just say we’re gonna be supporting more than 50 countries out of the gate, 30-40 currencies, and enough market makers to drag along 30 or 40 banks, so we’ll have a significant portion of the world covered and our goal is to continue to expand that network and to provide global coverage within 3-5 years where you can actually send remittances in a consistent way, immediately, at a very low cost, from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.’
IBM and the Stellar Foundation are yet to make a formal joint announcement of their plans with World Wire going forward. Confirmation from Lund of WW supporting 50 countries with 30-40 currencies, as well as ‘drag[ging]’ 30-40 banks along with their launch, all points towards an exclusive (and potentially explosive) official product unveiling next month.
A Stellar Misunderstanding
Whilst news of an exclusive announcement received a largely positive social media reception, some picked up on Lund’s comments regarding the use of alternative digital bridge assets. For example, due to the Stellar protocol’s ability to tokenize any digital or non-digital asset, and network participants to choose their settlement instrument, it’s feasible to settle a transaction with XRP or a Central Bank Digital Currency.
The important difference between settling a transaction with XRP or a CBDC as a bridge asset on WW/Stellar network is down to tokenization through an Anchor. All assets, aside from XLM, require a form of trust in order to deposit, trade and withdraw on the network. As such XRP and CBDC’s will be ‘TRXP’ or ‘TCBDC’; a tokenized representation of the underlying asset. XLM does not need to be tokenized and exists as a purely digital, trustless asset on the network. As a result, XLM will always offer the easiest access to necessary liquidity on the network, and will likely end up featuring in the majority of currency conversions.
The success of World Wire’s universal approach to digital tokenization, as well as their partnership with a philanthropic and prolific non-profit blockchain foundation, will be fascinating to observe. Money 20/20 Asia certainly can’t come fast enough for XLM holders and speculators alike.